Letting Go Of Masculine Energy. Or: Unselling Myself

If you’ve met me, I would imagine that you wouldn’t describe me as particularly ‘macho’ or ‘manly’.  This is not a point of contention.  I surround myself socially with women, for the most part.  My interests are not particularly masculine (I like girly drinks, and WB shows and am not much into sports and so on), and I often feel out of  step when surrounded by mostly guys.

I’m beginning to realize that there is a ton of masculine energy shaping how society expects us to behave, especially when it comes to “work” and resources.

We are supposed to go out and get that client, or get on our grind or always be closing.  If you’re not hustling, you’re never gonna win. 

We have to rock our sales pages.  We need to get to #1 on Google.  We should network and build our connections.

Can you feel the “grrrr” energy connected to all of this? I certainly can.  When I set up Deeper Context the way I did, I felt a little unsettled by my sales language, but it seemed like the thing to do in order to grow my business and build a client base.   It hadn’t really occurred to me to think about it in terms of whether any of that language meshed with my own natural energy.

I’d been brainwashed by the popular assumption about how to build a business, how a freelancer is supposed to behave, where the energy should come from.

And I was wrong.

Because what I want to do isn’t to sell products, or generate revenue (not as a main goal, anyway), or even grow my business.

To me, those are clothes that don’t fit very well.  They are the same clothes that didn’t work for me as an employee of large, masculine companies.  Just ask my former bosses.

What I want isn’t any of that.

Those are not forces that nourish.

They are forces that break others down.

Those are not forces that leave room for everyone.

They are forces that must destroy the competition.

Those are not forces that are interested in what you have to say, and will sit quietly and listen.

They are forces desperate for your attention by any means necessary.

They are forces that mostly care about numbers. About SEO. About quarter-over-quarter growth. About bolding random sentences in the hopes that they stand out.

They are not forces that say “Yes, let’s try that and see what happens”

They are forces that say “Show me that this will be a success, using my values, before we try it. And still probably no.”

They are not conversational.

They are dictatorial.

These are not my values.

What I want isn’t any of that.

What I want is to connect. To grow and help others grow. To turn over a rock and see what might be hiding.

To help to awaken that giddy, childlike part of us that we cover over with “should” and “this is how it’s done” and “justify your time” and “but I need to”.

To find out what makes you tick.  Under all that stuff.

That’s what Deeper Context will be, when I learn to unsell myself. One part of a larger person, unconcerned with the masculine. At home.

We can get there, you and I. Together. One healing moment at a time. Just being.



Google gets Pac-Man Fever: Keep it BLEEP BLOOPin simple, stupid:

Originally posted on [NewCommBiz].

Google’s logo today is Pac-man.  It’s playable.  You can go to www.google.com right now (assuming you’re reading this on 5/21) and play a custom developed HTML/CSS/JS version of Namco Bandai (our client)’s classic game  Pac-Man based around the Google logo, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the game.

They didn’t send out a press release, there’s no blog announcement, nobody was interviewed for it, they just figured out a way to do something cool, and made it happen.

At the present moment, it’s trending on Twitter, and about 80% of the tweets today (in my feed at least) have been about “OMG Google’s logo is a playable pac-man!!!!”, from fans of all ages and followings.

Let’s put all the talk about social media and content strategy discussion aside.  Here’s what it comes down to:

It’s not always the big flashy campaigns and press blitzes that create the most impact.  Sometimes it’s just doing something cool for your people that they’re not expecting.

In this business, we talk a lot (I mean a lot about creating client delight, connecting with customers, being ‘authentic’ and ‘transparent’), but here’s a great example of a simple selfless and well-executed idea capturing peoples hearts and attention.

Some things to consider:

  • It’s quick and in-flow. Google did not build a separate page for this. Users did not have to do anything outside their normal behavior patterns with the site. They simply did what they do already (go to www.google.com) and the experience was there.  They play for a little bit, and go on with their day.
  • There’s a minimal time commitment to interact. No “Go to pacman.google.com, use Facebook connect to log in, invite three friends and you can play a game!”. Just do what you were going to do anyway, play for a few minutes, go on with your day.
  • It’s easy to recommend to your network. The in-flowness also made the experience that much more shareable, because people know that their friends are going to Google anyway, so it was not “extra work” for people to experience the game once it was shared.
  • There is an element of surprise to the interaction. Google is known for frequently switching up the logo on their home page to celebrate assorted holidays, anniversaries and other notable events. This is the first time it’s ever been interactive.
  • Users discovered for themselves. There’s no “PLAY THE INTERACTIVE PAC-MAN LOGO NOW!” star burst image.  There was an element of ownership and discovery around the “hey, you can actually play this thing”
  • It’s timely and relevant. I didn’t know today was the 30th anniversary of PacMan. Now I do. So do you.
  • There’s no further ‘ask’ from them. User data jokes aside, Google didn’t ask you to re-tweet, they don’t want your email address, they don’t want you to buy a deluxe version of the game.  It’s just out there because they thought they’d create something cool for today. They provided value selflessly (though ultimately what they’re getting back in visibility and publicity more than makes up for whatever dev time it took to build the game)

Good on you, Google.  Way to add awesomeness to our day.  Much for many to learn, here.

[Update: You can play PacMan (I’m assuming) forever at http://www.google.com/pacman]

Jeremy Meyers is an Engagement Strategist at Waggener Edstrom and also blogs at JeremyMeyers.com.  He was always more of a Dig Dug fan, himself.